Metro New York Presbytery Overtures 47th PCA GA To Allow Women to Be Ordained As Deacons
The Metropolitan New York Presbytery (MNY) approved an overture at its March 13, 2019 Stated Meeting, asking the 47th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America to amend Book of Church Order (BCO) 7-2, 9-3, 17-3, chapter 24, and add a chapter 25 in order to allow local sessions to decide whether women can be allowed to serve as deacons. The overture is asking the General Assembly to amend the BCO to allow women to be elected and serve as deacons.
An overture is a means by which a Presbytery can bring a matter to the GA for consideration. This overture will be considered by the 47th PCA General Assembly at its meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 24-27, 2019....
Chris G P, I think the instances you bring up are completely appropriate roles for women but cannot see how ordination would complete their qualifications. I'm one who believes in the diaconate of all believers, in that we all have good works before us to do. In the PCA's sense, a deacon comes directly from Acts 6 and has a specific role in conducting and organizing the church body to provide relief, befriend the friendless, and look after any physical property. Womens outreach into difficult circumstances has been handled for years through commissioned missionaries or older women doing what Paul told Titus.
The only other possible application of a female deaconess or similar female pastoral worker could be as a kind of chaplain to women in a womenâ€™s prison, school or institute, where it may not always be appropriate for a male to carry out these kind of activities.
Before the disastrous and unbiblical decision to ordain women as full deacons and priests, and now later on as bishops, the Church of England did have a separate order of deaconesses, abolished by this move, which were separate from the male deacons. The Lutherans still, I believe, have something similar.
The only way I could go along with female deaconesses, is if they were indeed totally separate from male deacons, and their role was solely and only for purposes of female counselling and visitation, as sometimes it is not always wise or appropriate for a male pastor or elder to visit or counsel a woman.
Having said that, often a pastorâ€™s or elderâ€™s wife often unofficially acts as a kind of deaconess, and may well carry out this activity, but in any case any such female workers must at all times be answerable to the pastor and elders of the church, and submitted to them. There is no biblical case for a woman to be a full male type deacon, and definitely not an elder or pastor.
The PCA need to be very careful that this is not the thin end of the wedge, leading to wrong ordination of women as full deacons, elders or pastors!!
Quite frankly, the compromise should have never taken place. Tim Kellar should have been disciplined for introducing confusion and extra-biblical position into the church. But too often we decide success like some sort of gain, equals a high level of Godliness and someone worthy of emmmulation. Certainly Dr. Kellar has brought the Gospel to Manhattan, but he at best is only an instrument, really an earthen vessel, carrying this most precious message from the Lord. We should not then idolize him but uphold the Lord that brought the increase. Follow Dr. Kellar, or any other church leader, only as far as he follows the Lord.
The PCA has permitted the commissioning of "deaconnesses" for some time, but after Tim Kellar's church, Redeemed Pres in NYC, ordained them. The PCA pulled back from that position to the concept of "commissioning" in that official position was given without ordination as an officer of the church. This was a compromise position, designed to keep the unity of the PCA intact.
Supporters point to a single mention of the word, but even the translation is difficult. The word "deaconess" only appears once in some versions in Romans 16:1 related to Pheobe. My Bible calls her a "servant." Even the Bible version most PCA churches have in their pews/chairs, the ESV, calls her a servant.
At the root is a desire for more position for women. Gone are the days when women were respected for bringing their gifts without title or authority. Now they must have authority, although a deacon's authority in the PCA is in organization of activity. Still, the rest of Paul's instructions have no provision for this and it should be resisted most strenously.
My heart sank to read this. Dr. Tim Kellar has destroyed the denomination through which I came to faith and which represents the strand of faith of my forefathers.
The only hope is that the more conservative presbyteries not only defeat this overture but disassociate the New York Metro Presbytery from the General Assembly. Either the PCA will stand against this radical feminism or they will sink beneath the waves of Socialism that is overtaking the nation and the West.
May the Lord have mercy and preserve this Presbyterian denomination as a continuing Presbyterian presence. Have mercy, O Lord. Preserve Your people and Your church. In Jesus' name. Amen.